Earl Okine Interview
Sr. / Florida / DE

Updated - 3-26-13

By: Alex Khvatov


Alex Khvatov:  What are your measurements (height, weight and forty time)?

Earl Okine:  I weighed in at 285 pounds.  I am 6’7.  I haven’t run the forty yet.  But If I was to estimate, I run about a 4.7. 


Alex Khvatov:  How did you get into football in the first place?

Earl Okine:  I just started playing at the age of nine.  I have been playing ever since.          


Alex Khvatov:  When you were coming out of high school, what programs showed interest in you?

Earl Okine:  All of the SEC and ACC schools showed interest.  Florida State and Georgia showed interest in me.


Alex Khvatov:  Why did you choose Florida?

Earl Okine:  They had a lot of success.  I felt like it was a good program from a football and academic standpoint.  I just felt like it was a good fit for me.  I felt like I was going to fit that mold as a DE for them even though I needed to gain weight. 


Alex Khvatov:  Describe your career to us as a Florida Gator. 

Earl Okine:  I didn’t play all of that much until my redshirt sophomore year.  The light really came on for me after the Auburn game in 2011.  I started being in the rotation a lot more.  I just kept doing that until my senior year. 


Alex Khvatov:  Tell me about your senior season.

Earl Okine:  We were one of the best defenses in the nation.  I played a lot of snaps.  I played over 50 snaps in the Texas A&M game.  I played really well against them.  I contributed on special teams as well. 


Alex Khvatov:  The Gators went 11-2 this past season, what was the biggest difference for the turnaround in 2012?

Earl Okine:  We got very tough.  We got tough at the line of scrimmage.  I felt like a lot of it had to do with Coach Dillman coming in as our new strength and conditioning coach.  We got bigger and faster.    


Alex Khvatov:  How tough was it to lose the bowl game against Louisville?

Earl Okine:  Teddy Bridgewater is a good QB.  I was impressed by him.  I don’t think that we underestimated them, but Louisville played a really good game. 


Alex Khvatov:  Who is the toughest OL that you have faced during your career?

Earl Okine:  I would say that it was Marcus Gilbert.  He was my teammate.  He plays for the Steelers now.  He was the best OL that I have faced.


Alex Khvatov:  What can you tell me about your D-line teammates Omar Hunter, Dominique Easley and Sharrif Floyd?

Earl Okine:  It is a wild bunch.  We never really hung out together in 2011.  But this year, we had a common interest.  We all wanted to win.  We got really close this past year.  I was around my D-line every day.  I felt comfortable around them.  We all knew each other’s strengths and weaknesses.  We knew how to push each other. 


Alex Khvatov:  What are your strengths?

Earl Okine:  I feel like I have good initial quickness.  I am very strong.  I have good athleticism.  I have long arms. 


Alex Khvatov:  What areas of your game are you trying to improve upon?

Earl Okine:  I need to improve my lower body strength after my back injury.  I am getting my lower body stronger.  I want to become more explosive and improve my agility. 


Alex Khvatov:  What is the highlight of your football career up to this point?

Earl Okine:  I played well against LSU.  I feel like the two biggest plays of my season were blocking the FG against Vanderbilt and against Louisville. 


Alex Khvatov:  Which underclassmen on your team should we keep an eye on in the future?

Earl Okine:  I feel like Dante Fowler and Jonathan Bullard will be the two best ends in the nation.  I feel like they are really good.  They will have a great season next year.   


Alex Khvatov:  What did you enjoy the most about playing college football?

Earl Okine:  Winning.  I liked winning this season.  I also made good friends. 


Alex Khvatov:  What is your definition of a leader?

Earl Okine:  A leader is someone that leads by example.  He sets the example for others.


Alex Khvatov:  What are your hobbies?

Earl Okine:  I play basketball a lot.  I just like to relax.  I watch a lot of movies as well.  I am more of a home body.  I like to be at home.


Alex Khvatov:  Where are you training right now for the NFL Draft?

Earl Okine:  I am training in Tampa, Florida with Cooper Strength Training. 


Alex Khvatov:  What is the coolest thing that you have gotten to do while preparing for the NFL Draft?

Earl Okine:  Probably just meeting agents and being able to talk to teams.  It hit me that if I work hard, I would get a chance to play in the NFL. 


Alex Khvatov:  What do you plan to do with your life after your football career is over?

Earl Okine:  I have my degree.  So I will always have that to fall back on.  I might want to do something in real estate or start a non-profit organization. 


Alex Khvatov:  Finish the sentence, Earl Okine is….

Earl Okine:  I feel like I am a really easy-going person.  I feel like I strive for success.  I only want to win.  I just felt like losing was unacceptable at Florida.  I feel like I have become more of a competitive and assertive person at Florida.       


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